Scammers target potential puppy parents in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — If you’re going online to look for a puppy, the Better Business Bureau is warning the public of an aggressive scam going around New Mexico.

Patricia Torres responded to an online ad to find a playmate for her German Shepherd, Sissy. She received an email quoting her charge after charge to fly the dog out and get the needed vaccinations.

“He says you’re gonna get all this money back when you get to them, when it gets to New Mexico,” Torres said. “So I paid him because I had the money.”

She wanted to keep the puppy safe, so she electronically transferred a total of $6,000 within a span of two weeks. However, the puppy never came.

Then, the seller stopped communicating with her.

Torres is one of six New Mexicans who were scammed out of thousands of dollars this year.

Brian Baca, CEO of the local Better Business Bureau office, said even though the state sees fewer cases of this – New Mexico sees higher losses compared to any other state.

“The cost of the dollars that the consumers are losing the median is $850,” Baca said.

Yorkies, dachshunds, and French bulldogs make up 30% of these types of scams.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself:

  • Use a credit card for these kinds of transactions, because that’s the only method where the consumer has the chance to recollect the money lost
  • If you can, see the pet in person before paying any money, or try to set up a video call
  • Avoid paying via Zelle, Venmo, or PayPal
  • As always, you can check the BBB Scam Tracker